1. The effects of retinoic acid, γ-interferon, cytosine arabinoside, nerve growth factor, tumor necrosis factor, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate on the human neuroblastoma cell line, LAN-5, were studied. Intracellular levels of acetylcholinesterase, neuron-specific enolase, catecholamines and related neurotransmitters, vasointestinal peptide, and substance P were evaluated after induction. 2. Cell morphology was strongly affected by retinoic acid, γ-interferon, cytosine arabinoside, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate. The main effects of retinoic acid and γ-interferon were the loosening of cell clusters and the extension of long neurites; cytosine arabinoside induced cell body swelling and marked neuritogenesis. Following 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate treatment, the cells became small, round, and neuritic. Conversely, modifications induced by nerve growth factor and tumor necrosis factor were mild. Cell proliferation rate was reduced by retinoic acid, γ-interferon, cytosine arabinoside, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate, while nerve growth factor and tumor necrosis factor were devoid of effects. 3. Acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly stimulated by retinoic acid and by γ-interferon. Neuron-specific enolase activity was unaffected by all treatments except 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate, which enhanced it by 1.6-fold. 4. The cellular catecholamine and related metabolite content was lowered by retinoic acid and γ-interferon, while cytosine arabinoside and, even more, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate showed a stimulatory activity on their intracellular accumulation. 5. Finally, the cell-associated vasointestinal peptide level was strikingly increased by γ-interferon and, to a lesser extent, by retinoic acid, cytosine arabinoside, and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate. 6. It is concluded that the most relevant biochemical changes associated with LAN-5 cells differentiation involve the repertoire of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. These events vary in quality and in quantity, likely due to the pattern complexity of gene expression triggered by each inducer in determining the diversity of neuronal phenotypes.
- biochemical markers
- human neural cell differentiation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology